The DeskLodge origin story

Jamie Ellis
June 24, 2022
The DeskLodge origin story

If you’re a regular DeskLodger than you’ll already know a lot about us. Our handy locations, the different work zones to match your mood, free fruit day (and free sweetie day!), how we bend over backwards to make every day a great day, the superfast WiFi, our relaxed sense of community, the easy-going memberships, the endless coffee…

But do you know how it all began? Well, why not join us as we take a little stroll down memory lane? (If this was a movie the screen would start to wobble as we disappeared back in time.)

The spark

It started with a bemused Tom Ball, our Founder. He couldn’t understand why people would commute hours every day to a boring office just to send a few emails. It seemed crazy to him. There had to be a balance between going into the office, and the freedom and convenience of working closer to home. Hybrid working was born! The initial vision in 2011 was for “a million people working near home one day per week”.

How things could be.

Tom’s dream was reinforced when he saw the launch of Google’s office in London. Tom says: “I remember thinking “I’d love to work there – but I don’t want to work for them”.” But the whole ethos stayed with him. It was a building full of different people with different skills from different backgrounds, all bouncing off each other in a creative and friendly environment.

The first offices.

The very first DeskLodge opened its doors in 2012 in Southwark, London. We were calledView61 back then. We took 100 desks of space for six months. Although modest ,we were convinced we’d created something special. “When I look back,” explains Tom, “All we really had were kitchen tables and shared spaces surrounded by private offices.” But we were open. And more importantly, people were excited to come along. It wasn’t long before we opened our first ‘DeskLodge’-named office near Kings Cross at the end of 2012. The rest is history.

Little details, big differences.

We’ve done everything we can to make the experience of working at DeskLodge as smooth, easy and fun as possible. In fact, we’ve made hundreds of tweaks and changes along the way.

For example, we spent a fortune upgrading our power sockets when we realised how hard it was to use ankle height outlets in a skirt. And we’ve built more private booths because we realised that not everybody likes to be in an open plan setting. We’ve also invested thousands of hours creating our various themes to inspire productivity (and a few hundred ripping one or two and starting again because they weren’t quite right!).

To be honest, we kind of hope you don’t notice any of the differences. That’s because everything should be effortless. From the way you work, to the way you connect with the person next to you.

The future.
Which brings us to today, our flagship workspace is in Bristol, (actually, we’re just about to open another in Bristol -with a roof terrace) and a workspace in Reading launching soon. And with thousands of loyal and super cool DeskLodgers, we must be doing something right. Thing is, we’re not ones to blow our own trumpet. It’s not really our thing. But we did hear that The Telegraph described us ‘one of the coolest offices in the world’, so there you go.

So if you area DeskLodger, then thank you. You’ve made it all possible. If you aren’t, then drop by someday and see Tom’s dream in action. And, yes, you can grab a cup of coffee.